The ancient Greeks used garlic as a protection against evil spirits, and the Roman author Pliny recommended it as a defence against poisonous snakes and scorpions. Today it could mean boosting the immunity levels of your household and guarding against flu and viruses.
Garlic gives your T Cells a boost!
Nutrition scientists from the University of Florida reported in the journal Clinical Nutrition in 2012 that taking aged garlic extract reduced the severity of cold and flu symptoms and that the symptoms went away faster in those who took the garlic extract than among those who didn’t. Garlic’s high sulphur content further explains its benefit as a cold and flu fighter. The sulphur in garlic helps your body absorb the trace element zinc, which is an immunity booster.
Garlic also contains a compounds known as ‘Alliin’ which quickly converts to other sulphur-containing compounds thought to give garlic its medicinal properties. These compounds have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu.
Garlic is a great stress buster
It’s no coincidence that you always seem to catch a cold or the flu when you’re overworked or stressed out. A research team from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh reported in the November 2011 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the body loses its ability to fight off infections when it’s constantly under stress. That’s where garlic comes in — it’s been shown to fight stress and fatigue. Garlic can affect your adrenal glands’ response to stress: Eat garlic, and your adrenals produce less stress hormones and thus reduce your level of fatigue. Armed with garlic, you’re better able to stay alert and fight off foreign invaders.
Garlic is has superior nutritional value
One clove (3 grams) of raw garlic contains
Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
Vitamin C: 1% of the DV
Selenium: 1% of the DV
Fiber: 0.06 grams
As well as decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1
Garlic can help reduce blood pressure
Human studies have found garlic supplements to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. In one study, 600–1,500 mg of aged garlic extract was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24-week period. The amount needed is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day.
Garlic lowers LDL cholesterol
For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplements appear to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10–15%. Looking at LDL (the “bad”) and HDL (the “good”) cholesterol specifically, garlic appears to lower LDL but has no reliable effect on HDL.